Monday, September 20, 2010

In the Kitchen

On Saturday one of the hens left me a bumpy egg. The shell seems rock hard. I haven't cracked it open yet. I kind of like admiring it and feeling it.

On Friday (?) I made these wonderful pumpkin chocolate-chip muffins. Holy cow they are dangerous! And don't say I didn't warn you!

No, Lera did not lose her mind and make those darn crayon shapes again. (I told you I was never, ever going to make them again. And I totally meant it.) I had another basil harvest, so I made more pesto. I froze most of it in small jars, but I was running out of jars (and space in the freezer), so I tried using an ice cube tray. This was the only ice cube tray I could find (we have an automatic ice maker in our freezer). Unfortunately, the smell of garlic has penetrated the silicone ice cube tray and is now rendered useless for future ice making. I froze small hunks, wrapped them in foil, popped them in a freezer bag and then popped them in the freezer.

Are you sitting down for this? I scored a Squeezo with all three strainers at a flea market last week for $3. Three. Dollars. I almost cried. (And I actually thought I'd have to wrestle a Mennonite lady for it. Just teasing. She was just looking for a customer service number on the box as I waited patiently for her to step away from the box. I snagged it before she made it to the end of the table.) Two years ago my friend and I made applesauce using her Squeezo and I fell in love. It is so much easier than using the little foodmill I have used for more than a decade (making baby food and other things). The Squeezo is an older model, but two of the strainers are in their original packaging. And did I mention: three dollars?!?

I've also dehydrated tomatoes. My friend is a huge dehydrator user and she told me she was going to dehydrate tomatoes to use as sun-dried tomatoes. With Roma tomatoes coming out my ears recently, I made some, too.

After snacking on a few bunch, I put the rest in freezer bags, smooshed all the air out, sealed the bag and popped them in the freezer.

And pickled peppers. I still have a bunch that need to be picked and pickled, but I just haven't wanted the mess to clean up. This week .... This week.

Has anything fun been in your kitchen lately?


Anonymous said...

only tomatoes and corn....waiting applesauce time...yum yum yum!

lisa said...

That egg creeps me out. I don’t know what I would do with it if I was you. I would be afraid of cracking it. Maybe this is why I haven’t asked my Mom to help me set up chickens. I would totally go for some miniature goats though. So stinking cute!

I haven’t had much luck. Out of two bushels and a peck of peaches I have canned 4 pints. Yeah. I did put up some pickle and onion relish and salsa with help. I have some more peppers that are on the plants and I am thinking about pickling those. I thought about drying them like you said, but I don’t know how to use dried peppers. Maybe if I pickled them my husband would eat them. Do you use straight vinegar or do you put in pickling spices?

Marty said...

A couple of years ago, we had so many tomatoes that I seasoned and dried them and put them in Food Saver bags and they went for Christmas gifts.

As for the Squeezo-don't you just love to score deals like that? I call them the Deal of the Day. Even Hubs doesn't mind my shopping for them! 'Course he just scored all his mom's pint sized canning jars so he can make apple jelly for Christmas.

erica e said...

what all do you use pickled peppers for?

lera said...

You can use them on nachos or taco salad or (if you are brave) nibble on them out of the jar.

I'ved used two recipes.

This one:
2 pounds hot peppers - (3" to 5" long)
Boiling water
2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
8 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons pickling salt

Wash peppers thoroughly. Cut off stem end only, trimming longer peppers to fit jar, if necessary. Place peppers in bowl; cover with boiling water. Let stand 5 minutes; drain.

Combine vinegar, water and sugar in saucepan; heat to boiling, then simmer 5 minutes. Pack peppers in clean, hot jars. To each jar add 2 cloves garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Pour simmering liquid over peppers to within 1/2-inch of top making sure vinegar solution covers peppers. Cap each jar at once. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath.

And this one without sugar:

Kris said...

What a completely apt name. "Squeezo" I am blown away by it's name AND the fact that you got it for three dollars! (Lucky that lady put the box down and moved on is all I can say!)

My kitchen has been no where near as productive as yours.

nikko said...

Wow. You have been busy. I am totally missing my garden! And "my" kitchen!

I did make yogurt last night. It turned out so good! I think I'll keep doing it and perfect my recipe. :o)

amandajean said...

what a GREAT deal on your squeezo!!! amazing find! woo-hoo!!!

i canned almost 20 pints of salsa. what a fat lot of work THAT was. but it turned out great, so it was totally worth it.

love your sundried tomato idea.